One of the keys accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case has made shocking revelations about CM, speaker, and 3 cabinet ministers, the Customs have told the HC.
The latest developments in the gold smuggling case are likely to rock the political arena of poll-bound Kerala as the Customs chief has claimed that one of the key accused has made some shocking revelations’ about Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, and three state ministers.
In a statement submitted to Kerala High Court, Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar has said that the key accused – Swapna Suresh has revealed the close connection between the chief minister and the previous Consul General of UAE along with the illegal monetary transactions carried out by the two.
She has also revealed her close connection with CM Pinarayi Vijayan, his principal secretary and a member of his personal staff, the statement submitted by the Customs commissioner said.
The Customs commissioner told the court that Swapna Suresh has also admitted that she knows about instances where foreign currency was smuggled on the directions of the CM and the speaker.
“She has also stated with clarity about the smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of the chief minister and the speaker with the help of the consulate. She has also clearly stated about the improper and illegal activities of three ministers of the state cabinet and the speaker,” the statement submitted to the high court said.
She has further stated about the involvement and the kickbacks received by high-profile persons from various deals, the statement said.
The investigating officer told the court that the prime accused, Swapna Suresh, has confessed that she was a witness to all these transactions because she was forced to act as the translator between the above-said persons and persons of Middle East origin in all their crucial interactions due to her fluency in the Arabic language.
KERALA GOLD SMUGGLING CASE
The Kerala gold smuggling case pertains to the smuggling of over 167 kgs of gold through the import cargo addressed to diplomats at the Consulate General of UAE in Thiruvananthapuram between November 2019 and June 2020.
The smuggling racket was unearthed after the Customs seized 30 kg gold from a piece of diplomatic baggage of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, last year.
Subsequently, the Customs arrested around 15 people, including Swapna Suresh.
The National Investigation Agency, the Enforcement Directorate, and the Customs are conducting separate probes into the racket.
Several high-profile personalities, including CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s principal secretary Sivasankar are under the Customs scanner for their alleged connection to the case.